There are many ways to get around the city of Key West — Key West Transit is there to help residents

Rod Delostrinos, the Director of Transportation for Key West, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM this morning to talk about what’s been going on with transportation.

Ridership in Key West Transit services has continued to increase.

Delostrinos said, “40,000 and rising every day. It’s definitely great news and it’s really indicative of the service that the hard working men and women of the transit department here at the city are really getting out there and trying to provide that quality for the community.”

The on demand service has been available since last November.

Delostrinos said, “Next month, which is our fiscal new year, and I look at it like a new year, I have to report out to the City Commission, just how well the Key West Rides and the rest of the system is doing. Overall, our ridership is up in the city with the Key West Rides and the workforce express we’re looking at over 200 people a day riding and you go into the Duvall loop, which is more like 289 people a day, then that’s a significant amount of trips. So that’s always good news.”

The on demand service offers a whole lot of options.

Delostrinos said, “It’s really a departure from the fixed route, which is basically here’s a schedule, that doesn’t stop and then you catch the bus. But with the on demand service, you can either use an app that you can download on your smartphone, or you can call us and to schedule a trip, whether it’s right then and there, that’s kind of the on demand part, or we can schedule up to a week in advance. So you could do that on your phone. So now you’re not stuck to when’s the next bus coming? It’s basically hey, I need a ride and app will be able to tell you, oh, it can coming in 20 minutes. Or you might have to try again because it’s such a high demand. So you might have to wait 15 minutes to try again. But it basically works on your schedule to take you where you want to go and when you want to go because that’s another beauty of it. It’s not tied to just a certain route. So hey, which route do I get on? Key West Rides services all of Stock Island and Key West. So it’s really a great deal for anyone, even if you haven’t ridden transit. It’s definitely I think a better service then our traditional fixed route.”

The on demand service tries to gather people in one area for the pick up and drop off.

Delostrinos said, “There are exceptions. If you have some disability perhaps or if you’re a senior, we really try to accommodate exactly the closest stop rather than the most efficient stop.”

There is a drop off and pick up for Miami-Dade passengers as well.

Delostrinos explained, “We overlap our service in Marathon and typical pickup or drop off point from Miami Dade transit route 301 is at the old Kmart shopping center where McDonald’s is. And that’s where if people want to continue their trip down into the Lower Keys or Key West, or definitely, that’s a place you can get it. It’s really great, because then you really have this conductivity with transportation conductivity, all throughout South Florida and once you get to Miami, the possibilities are endless.”

The buses make different stops along the way.

Delostrinos said, “We probably have about three stops per Key, if you will. So it’s just spread out. Obviously we go to where the population is. It takes a little while to get up from Key West to Marathon but it’s $4 each way for full fare.”

The closest pickup to the Key West International Airport is near the East Martello Tower.

We have a stop, that’s right by the East Martello Tower. It’s kind of right in front of the airport structure. You can go there. But really anywhere, like if you came from, Key West Rides, we’ll certainly get you out there. Just give us a call at 305-809-3910, and we can help you with that trip planning to get you exactly, from point A to point B.”

The workforce express is a product of the Key West Rides.

Delostrinos said, “We identified that we can carve out a certain fixed route for people that are getting picked up at the same place and getting dropped off in general at the same place every time. It opens up more service for the Key West Rides. In just this past month, August, it had 1,500 riders. Then if you look at that, coupled with what Key West Rides is doing, it’s really doing great work to be able to reduce congestion, give people other transportation options, and really letting us do the driving.”

Fantasy Fest will modify services a little.

Delostrinos said, “We modify a lot of services to accommodate that larger population. It’s some alternatives to be able to have a good time down here, but to be safe, and that’s something that we definitely take seriously. So look for us during Fantasy Fest.”

For more information on services from Key West Transit, click here: